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Do you use RFID?

Do you use RFID technology? Which brand is best do you think? Any thoughts? Thank you.

Posted by
2057 posts

Nor do I. This is strictly my own personal opinion but I think RFID 'equipment' is unnecessary.

Posted by
1264 posts

Is it even possible to avoid RFID technology? And if it were, why would anyone want to?

Without RFID how do you use your bus pass or tourist card or in many hotels open your room? There's a good chance RFID is used to get your suitcase onto the right plane or track you around the airport. RFID is everywhere, even if we don't realise it is. I wouldn't worry about it - RFID is obviously a helpful technology.

Or, if you're asking about RFID blocking technology, then don't bother. It's just snakeoil salesman nonsense. A solution in search of a problem.

Posted by
1678 posts

I use the sleeves to protect my cards from rubbing together because I throw them together in my purse and neck wallet. As for the RFID, it’s unnecessary and hype not fact.

Posted by
21867 posts

Not sure what you are asking? Hard to avoid using RFID tech. Are you asking about RFID blocking devices? That is mostly marketing hype and I don't worry about it. If you are really worried about it, insert a sheet of AL in your billfold. Does the same.

Posted by
7718 posts

I don't buy or use RFID-blocking wallets or bags, no. It's just not something I worry about.

Posted by
1204 posts

I think this is asking about RFID blocking tech, per another post about keeping valuables safe...

Not necessary

There are many many threads to read through about keeping valuables safe. See the search bar at the top of the screen

Posted by
2057 posts

Ha! I just "assumed" the question meant RFID blocking technology! Should never assume what a poster meant.....

Posted by
8889 posts

Of course I "use" RFID. It is impossible not to use it.
My works pass is RFID, I can't get into work without it.
An Oyster Card is RFID.
Many hotel room cards use RFID.
When I show my passport to immigration, they read the RFID chip on it.
If you mean something else, like RFID blocking, please say so.

Posted by
6513 posts

If you're asking about buying RFID blocking products, then no, I never have and never will. As far as I'm concerned they are just a marketing gimmick that takes advantage of people's unwarranted fears.

Posted by
3083 posts

I do not use RFID blocking technology. I do, however, regularly use RFID skimming technology. But I only have the nerve to use it on myself. So, I keep stealing my own identity.

Posted by
2930 posts

Like Horsewoofie:

I use the sleeves to protect my cards from rubbing together.

I've had my cards demagnetize each other so I use the individual folders because that's not something I want to happen while traveling. On the other hand, it is often hard to buy an organized purse anymore that doesn't have some RFID blocking technology. And I don't care that it has it. Not a big deal. I would not buy an item for the blocking technology, but certainly won't not buy one because it has it.

That being said, I received my Global Entry card and it said to keep it in its folder so they are not read inappropriately. ????

Posted by
470 posts

Technically my wallet is RFID blocking if I remember to put the cards in the correct way. And when I travel I have a sleeve for my passport any my spare credit card and my debit card. These sleeves are supposed to be RFID blocking as well. Not that I really know or care. As I bought non of them because they are RFID blocking. I bought them for other reasons
The small wallet I like because it is very thin and easy to use and carry.
The sleeve for my Passport I bought because it was cheep and I wanted a sleeve to protect the passport when it is in my belt pouch or neck pocket whichever I am using.

The sleeve for my cards came free with the passport sleeve and is useful as I keep both my cards in it.
But these sleeves are just for organization an to stop them getting messed up.

But you will use RFID if you travel. Your US passport is so equipped. Most credit cards are now equipped that way. Many travel cards are (the London Underground being a classic example) and any touch door lock card is. To name but a few.
So RFID is hard to avoid. But I don’t think we need to be paranoid about it.
I often wonder if travel advisors and web sites don’t over emphasize risks. In part to get people to take some relatively simple precautions that most are perhaps to lazy to take unless they play up the dangers.

Posted by
996 posts

If you're asking if I buy RFID blocking wallets, bags, then no. It's not worth the cost.

Posted by
21867 posts

That is snake foil -- not oil. Oil is too messy and smelly.

Posted by
31524 posts

I'm also not entirely clear on your question. Are you asking if it's advisable to use RFID cards for purchases, or whether RFID blocking technology is advisable?

I use RFID cards for purchases at home just about every day, but I don't use them when I'm travelling.

Posted by
14 posts

I am forced to use RFID. I am forced to use it for motel rooms and skiing. My passport has it too. So, I use those types because I have no other choice. So far, my thoughts are that they work great and there's never a company listed on those cards as to their brand. So I do not know. One thing i will tell you is that the RFID for the ski passes can be a pain if you got something else in your upper pocket (i.e. your wallet or phone or earbuds) because the designated RFID card reader will not read it. So make sure you have it clear of everything and only just a few layers of fabric if you want it to read properly or you'll have to be right against the antenna.

As for everything else, it's Chip and Pin, Chip and Sig and contactless (i.e. Apple Pay). Those work great too.

Posted by
66 posts

A bit of snark with your coffee on this thread? Not everyone knows the precise terminology for "RFID blocking," so what? I use RFID blocking sleeves for my passport and chipped credit cards. They're inexpensive and are sold in a variety of designs on Amazon. I can move my items among wallets, purses, and backpacks without concern if the wallet or whatever is RFID blocking. I don't know if the blocking technology is for real or a scam. I just prefer to take precautions.

Posted by
11462 posts

For anyone who has a U.S. passport, RFID blocking is built into the cover. As long as it is closed, the RFID is safe.

Posted by
144 posts

Most credit cards are now equipped that way.

Nope, not yet anyway...

Chip credit cards still need to be inserted into a reader, while RFID cards are touchless,

Posted by
21867 posts

... I don't know if the blocking technology is for real or a scam. .... We tell you for sure that it is basically playing on fear and really not needed. It is mostly a market scam. But if it makes you feel better, go ahead, buy the products. Small price to pay for that comfort.

Posted by
3657 posts

...received my Global Entry card and it said to keep it in its folder so they are not read inappropriately. ????

Same for us -- what gives??

Posted by
4726 posts

"RFID blocking" things are snake oil.

Not quite. There is currently a spate of car thefts in the UK (and I presume elsewhere) that use keyless entry. Thieves use a signal amplifier to boost the signal from the keys inside your house where they're usually kept somewhere near the front door which is transmitted to an accomoplice standing by the car with a generic key, once the signal is received he can unlock the car and start it.

This has occured to two neighbours within my local neighbourhood and the practice has been widely reported in the media. Consequently I have two large RFID blocking bags in which I place my car keys. I've tested them out, usually I keep my keys in my pocket, touch the car handle and it unlocks and once in the car I simply press the 'start' button and the engine starts without me ever removing my key from my pocket. I've taken the bag with the keys inside to the car and I'm unable to open to door so those bags certainly work and for £7.99 a bag it's a lot cheaper than losing £50k worth of car.

Posted by
3493 posts

There are several different types of RFID chips. Some are designed for very close use to the readers, some are designed for longer distances.

The Global Entry card has a longer range chip in it. It is designed so that when crossing the border to Canada simply having the card out of its sleeve on your dash will allow their readers to notice it and retrieve all of your info (not stored on the card) from their system. It supposedly speeds border crossing. Ehh, maybe. Maybe it can be read, maybe they will use the info to speed you through. I don't have enough experience to know. But I do keep my card in the provided sleeve when not crossing the border. No harm in doing so.

Car keys in general have a very short range. I do have one that lets me open doors and start the engine just having the key in my pocket. It does not have range to work if left inside my place unless I walk outside and hold the key up in the air. I can then sometimes get the remote starter to work pushing the button. But the car remotes that require you to push a button before anything happens is not RFID but another radio frequency, it is only the ones that just require you to have the key in your pocket and you then do everything by pushing buttons in the car are. Half the time my car complains it can't see the key when I have already gotten in the car and started it! Seems my work ID is a stronger RFID chip and hides the car key if the two are close to each other. I'm not sure about the remote capture thing being an issue for this key.

Credit cards have the shortest range chip in the contactless options. Yes, there have been stories of people with RFID readers that have a boosted antenna being able to read the cards as you walk by. But this takes way more technology and expense than what it is worth to capture what is still (at least in the US) a very small percentage of the cards people are carrying so the possibility of someone even trying this is lower than your chance of winning the Mega Millions lottery. The chip in your credit card that requires you to insert it into the reader is NOT an RFID chip so is not impacted by this at all. RFID is a completely different thing. Other cards with similar RFID technology are the London Oyster, many hotel room key cards (Marriott come to mind where you can actually use your iPhone as your room key), Apple Pay, and my local library card. Passports also have similar chips but have their own RFID reader prevention because the cover has wire mesh imbedded which prevents the chip from being visible to readers unless the passport is opened.

I don't feel the need to put any of these into any type of additional protective sleeve simply because the possibility of anyone capturing a useable amount of info from any of them to build a cloned card and perform fraudulent transactions is just too low. Maybe I will change my mind as more things move to RFID, but for now I choose not to worry.